New Campus Connect update includes more options for student gender and ethnic identity
Earlier this week, DePaul’s Student Government Association (SGA) announced that Campus Connect will allow students to disclose their gender identity, in addition to their legal sex, alongside an expansion of ethnicity selection.
The change comes as Oracle, the company that created Campus Connect, added the feature for students to disclose their gender identity. With the release, DePaul seized the opportunity to “promote ways for students to express their identity, if they choose to do so,” according to Michael Wright, assistant vice president in the office of the registrar at DePaul.
The addition of the ethnic selection from Middle East / North Africa was done at the request of the SGA, to which the registrar’s office set up in collaboration with the information services.
This implementation gained the support and advocacy of SGA, including Riley Reed, the LGBTQ + Student Senator.
“With a bit of luck [this will limit] misleading, since someone’s identity is portrayed, âReed said. “I would hope [students] may feel comfortable being treated well and have a choice to disclose this information. It also protects students who might not feel comfortable [publicly] Express [their identity quite yet]. “
Reed said the SGA considers “the wrong kind [as] an act of violence â, so this additional disclosure will create a more transparent environment for all members of the DePaul community.
âSince students can select their pronouns and gender identity, luckily this leaves no room for error in a technical sense, as the information is readily available and accessible to others at the university,â Reed said.
Data on gender identity and ethnicity is only visible to specific staff at DePaul’s Registrar’s Office, but may be granted to faculty and staff for academic purposes.
“For example, if SGA wanted to share information or opportunities specifically with students who choose a certain gender identity, the Office of Student Engagement would coordinate with Information Services to send that information to those students,” he said. Wright said. “This information is [otherwise] protected under the Family Education Rights and Protection of Privacy Act.
Students can also select pronouns on Campus Connect for further representation of gender identity. Pronouns are shared more widely throughout the university, including faculty class lists so that students can be properly addressed.
âOver the past few years, students have also had the option of choosing pronouns in Campus Connect, which are shared on lists with faculty and academic advisors so they can address students appropriately,â Wright said. “Upon admission, students must always fill in ‘Legal sex’, and there is an option to decline to specify.”
According to a to study According to the University of California at Los Angeles Williams Institute, 76.2% of non-binary people are of college age, emphasizing the importance of DePaul’s resources for students of different genders.
While Reed believes this is a step toward establishing a more welcoming environment for all gender identities, they hope to further increase DePaul’s representation of gender diverse students.
“I think [we need] more gender neutral bathrooms on campus and other initiatives to increase the representation of gender students, âsaid Reed. “One of my initiatives is to organize spaces for trans and non-binary students in the coming terms, using the LGBTQ + Student Resource Center and finding ways to build community.”